Saturday, December 19, 2015

NHWM's Last-minute Gift Recommendations

Though there are many wine boutiques in New Hampshire, most last minute Christmas wine shoppers will visit one of the many convenient New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlets (I've been to about 40 of them).
If you are asking me for my recommendations, it'll come from anyone of these stores (see availability),
except as I may recommend a "go to winery",  my recommendations are based on wines I've tasted this year, with an emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Cabernet Sauvignon Under $10.00
Hayes Valley Central Coast 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $8.49-$12.99, 88 points, now $9.99.

Cabernet Sauvignon Under $20.00
Desert Wind Washington State 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $15.29-$18.99, 90+ points, now $15.99.
Dry Creek Vineyard Sonoma County 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.09-$24.99, 91 points, now $19.99.

Cabernet Sauvignon Under $40.00
Honig Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $28.79-$39.99, 93+ points, now $36.99.

Under $15.00
Buehler Russian River Valley 2013 Chardonnay, $11.99-$19.99, 91 points

Under $20.00
J Russian River 2013 Chardonnay, $15.99-$28.99, 92 points

Under $30.00
Groth Napa Valley 2013 Chardonnay, $29.99-$31.99, 93 points

Over $30.00
Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley 2012 Chardonnay, $39.99-$49.99, 94 points, now $44.99.

Sauvignon Blanc
see: Best of 2013 Cali Sauvignon Blanc (Now $17.99)

This year the NHLSs are presenting four very good and reasonably priced Zinfandel red wines, all of which I recommend:
Hartford Russian River Valley Old Vine 2012 Zinfandel, $28.79-$31.99, 90 points
Haywood Los Chamizal Sonoma Valley 2009 Zinfandel, $15.99,$29.99, 89 points
Renwood Amador 2011 Timberline Zinfandel, $21.99,$39.99, 90 points
Rosenblum Monte Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley 2010 Zinfandel Reserve, $21.99-$43.99, 91+ points

However my favorite "Zinfandel" of the year was really a Red Wine, consisting of only 70% of the Zinfandel grape varietal, and as is so often the case, will now set you back $36.99.
Ridge Lytton Springs 2012 Red Wine, $33.29-$36.99, 93 points

Prices may vary on the following wines.

My pick for Rioja (Spain)
Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2008 Rioja, $24.99-$29.99, 92+ points

All other Spanish Red Wines
Bodegas Borsao Berola, Campo de Borja, 2010 Red Wine, $12.99-$14.99, 90 points
Bodegas Convento de Las Claras Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2013 Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), $20.99-$22.99, 90 points
Bodegas La Cartuja 2013 Priorat Red Wine, $14.99-$19.99, 90 points
Cellar Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica Montsant, 2013 Old Vines Grenache/Syrah, $11.99-$13.99, 90 points
E-2 Spanish Non-Vintage Red Wine, $15.99-$19.99, 90+ points

My picks for Chianti Red Wines
Castellare 2013 Chianti Classico, $21.99-$24.99, 91+ points
Rocca delle Macie 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva, $19.99-$21.99, 91 points

If you haven't found what you are looking for, try last years picks which were more comprehensive, and probably still current:
Wine as a last-minute Christmas gift (2014)

Above all, have a Merry Christmas and don't drink and drive!

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Frank Sinatra


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  1. Some nice recommendations there, it was a very good year.
    (Sing it, Frankie!)